New publication: Elselijn Kingma & Natalie Banner “Liberating Practice from Philosophy”

Former post-doctoral fellows at the Centre for the Humanities and Health, Dr Elselijn Kingma and Dr Natalie Banner have recently re-considered the philosophical core of values-based medical practice in their chapter “Liberating practice from philosophy: a critical examination of values-based practice and its underpinnings,” in Dr Michael Loughlin (ed. by), Debates in Values-Based Practice. Arguments For and Against, Cambridge University Press (Oct. 2014).

As they explain in the introduction to their investigation,

Values Based Practice (VBP) has been developed and promoted by Bill Fulford over the past 20 years. In this chapter we investigate the relationship between the practical, skill-based aspects of VBP and its supposed philosophical basis. Firstly, we argue that the practical, skills-based and educational aspects of VBP do not require the philosophical underpinnings and commitments that Fulford packages them with. Instead, most of the practical aspects of VBP are compatible with a wide range of positions on philosophical methodology and a wide range of substantive philosophical claims. Secondly we argue – drawing upon a range of published objections, adding some of our own – that there are severe problems with the philosophical claims Fulford commits to. Thirdly, we point out that these philosophical commitments do not in fact derive from OLP at all, which plays a much smaller role in VBP than Fulford claims. We conclude that most of the practical, skills-based and educational aspects of VBP – which seem, as far as we can judge, laudable – can be retained, but that their association with a supposed philosophical basis is disingenuous, misleading, and should be dropped.

Debates in Values-Based Practice is structured as a dialogic volume, so this and other chapters complement Prof. Bill Fulford‘s own account of values-based practice. The collection, which also includes his responses to the contributors’ commentaries, looks like a very rich, thought-provoking text for anyone interested in healthcare provision.

AHRC: Call for Research Careers and Training Advisory Group Members

The AHRC’s Research Careers and Training Advisory Group (RCTAG) is seeking new members. RCTAG was established in January 2013 and provides advice on postgraduate support and career development for researchers, and on future strategy in these areas.

The AHRC is seeking to replace several members who have reached the end of their term with the Group. Potential candidates should have an active interest in researcher development issues. We are looking to recruit:

An academic from the Arts and Humanities

An arts or humanities PhD student, who can be at any stage in their research and who does not have to be AHRC-funded. This is a good development opportunity and will allow them to gain new insights into policy and strategy for support of researchers

An early career researcher in the Arts and Humanities – in this context, any individual who is within eight years of their PhD or equivalent professional training, excluding career breaks, and who is pursuing a career in academia (including those undertaking part-time teaching or lecturing)

A representative from the non-academic sector – applications are welcome from any sector with an interest in, and engagement with, the Arts and Humanities.

Applications are invited by the deadline of Friday 10 October 2014. Find out more in the RCTAG Expressions of Interest call document (PDF 86KB, opens in new window) or on the AHRC’S RCTAG webpages.

For more information see here or contact James Lees on

Dissemination, Publication and Impact in Interdisciplinary and Empirical Ethics, November 22nd at University of Birmingham

A few places are still available for the last meeting of the Interdisciplinary Empirical Ethics Network (IEEN), with topic “Dissemination, Publication and Impact in Interdisciplinary and Empirical Ethics“. The IEEN is a Wellcome Trust funded project between the University of Birmingham and King’s College London, which seeks to generate discussion and cross-fertilisation amongst academics who are interested in taking interdisciplinary and empirical approaches to applied ethics.

The meeting will take place on Friday, November 22nd, at the University of Birmingham. The venue is room 224, in the Primary Care building on the main Edgbaston campus. Travel information to the University can be found at:

The programme will run as follows:
10.00 – 10.30am Arrival/Coffee
10.30 – 10.45am Welcome and introduction to the IEEN – Jon Ives

Session 1: Dissemination and impact
10.45 – 11.45am Presentations from:
Becky Brown
Simon Jenkins
Sabine Salloch

11.45 – 12.30pm Open discussion
12.30 – 1.30pm Lunch

Session 2: Impact and policy
1.30 – 2.30pm Presentations from:
Angus Dawson
Malcolm Oswald
Peter Harris

2.30 – 3.00pm Tea
3.00 – 3.45pm Open discussion
3.45 – 4.00pm Reflections – John Owens, Alan Cribb and Jon Ives
4.00pm Departure

To register please get in touch with Dr Jonathan Ives, Senior Lecturer Medicine, Ethics, Society and History at the University of Birmingham: